The Polaris Ranger is one of Polaris’ most popular models. Over the years, many Ranger models have been launched. For example, there is the Ranger 800 in two-seaters and 4-seaters. Unfortunately, this model has several issues that detract from the driving experience.

In this blog, we’ve outlined all the most important things you should watch for when you’re in the market for a Polaris Ranger 800. In the rest of the article, we’ll discuss every single problem in detail. Furthermore, we’ll tell you how to identify it, fix it and how much it costs to fix. Read on!

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1. Park Brake Engine Fails to Disengage

A defective switch or connector or incomplete park brake disengagement are the two most common reasons the parking brake on a Polaris Ranger 800 XP fails to disengage.

Verify that the lever is in the forward position when troubleshooting the park brake issue on a Polaris Ranger 800 XP. Also, ensure the connector and parking brake switch are installed correctly. If they are not, you should have that fixed at a licensed dealer.

Also read: Polaris UTV Reliability, Check Your Model Here!

2. Engine Problems

There are several issues that owners complain about, and they are engine related. The first engine related problem is starting the engine.

2.1 Starting Problems

The Polaris Ranger 800 XP can have trouble starting. This issue often arises due to a lack of fuel in the tank, a low or damaged battery, damaged or unfastened spark plugs, or using old, contaminated, or incorrect fuel in the UTV.

To solve starting issues with the Polaris Ranger 800 XP, refuel the tank with clean or the appropriate type of fill, check the spark plugs, and replace them if necessary. Drain the old or unclean fuel from your tank and replace it with fresh fuel. If your battery is damaged, recharge it or buy a new one.

2.2 Engine Backfires

The Polaris Ranger 800 XP engine tends to backfire. Some of the things that could make the engine backfire include:

  • Water in the fuel
  • Using old or ineffective fuel
  • Tight or loose ignition connections
  • A damaged, worn-out, or loose spark plug

You can try a few different troubleshooting methods to get your Polaris Ranger 800 XP back up and running. You can remove the old fuel from the tank and refill it with fresh fuel. Furthermore, you can also check the spark plugs, replace them if they’re damaged, and check and tighten all the ignition connections. Ensure the fuel isn’t polluted with water before adding it to the tank.

2.3 Engine Misfires

The engine misfiring is another typical issue that you could run into with the Polaris Ranger 800 XP. The following things have an impact on this issue:

  • Water in the fuel
  • A clogged air filter
  • Low battery voltage
  • Loose ignition connections
  • A corroded or broken spark plug

You can fix a Polaris Ranger 800 XP engine misfire issue by tightening all connections, inspecting and cleaning the spark plugs, and changing any broken ones if necessary. Check battery voltage, charge it if necessary, clean the air filter if blocked, and replace it if damaged. Moreover, if there is water in the fuel, drain it from the tank and provide clean, fresh fuel in its place.

2.4 Engine Knocks

A Polaris Ranger 800 XP’s engine may knock, typically brought on by poor fuel quality, improper ignition timing, or the wrong spark plug gap or heat range.

You can try a few different ways to fix the issue if the engine on your Polaris Ranger 800 XP knocks. They include emptying the wrong fuel and replacing it with quality fuel, fixing the spark plug gap as instructed in the manual, changing the spark plugs if they are damaged, and so on. Moreover, if the timing of the ignition is off, it is best to take the utility vehicle to a licensed dealer, so they can fix it

2.5 Engine Does Not Turn Over

Polaris Ranger 800 XP engines can have trouble turning over. Low battery levels, loose battery connections, and damaged or loosened solenoids, or low battery levels are the usual culprits for this issue.

Here are a few techniques to troubleshoot your Polaris Ranger’s engine if it is proving difficult to turn over when you try to start it. You can inspect and replace the solenoid if damaged, recharge the battery until it reads 12.8 VDC, tighten the battery connections, or check the solenoid.

3. Fuel Pump Problem

A Polaris Ranger 800 XP owner says,

“I’m having issues that are typically linked with a failing fuel pump, including stalling and loss of power or power fading, both of which are brought on by heat and/or heavy, continuous running. When the engine is turned off briefly, the issues disappear, but they come back when the machine is operated vigorously. Two pump assemblies are available.
The machine worked perfectly when I switched to the old pump in the field when the new pump failed. I used a Quantum pump in place of the original pump in the new arrangement. It failed after traveling 18 miles, or almost two hours. The machine has been functioning normally since I replaced this unit with the previous pump assembly, despite the compartment getting a little warmer than usual.”

One of the most frequent issues with all machines is a problem with the fuel pump. It may show up as a difficult start, backfiring, sputtering, lack of power, and sudden engine shut-off while moving. Usually, as the fuel pump ages, the pressure of the fuel drops. Your machine experiences slow, higher RPMs, a lower peak speed, and poor acceleration. A malfunctioning fuel pump can harm an engine by not supplying enough fuel.

If your engine doesn’t get enough fuel, it will operate lean. It causes the combustion chamber to heat up, which could result in an explosion. A hole in your piston may melt due to the high temperatures. Install a gasoline pressure gauge at the tank outlet and check the fuel pump pressure using a device connected to the outlet while the side-by-side operates normally. Replace a malfunctioning fuel pump. An OEM fuel pump for the Ranger 800XP costs around $79.99.

4. Spits at Speed

This problem frequently arises when the engine runs poorly, or you resume the machine after an extended break. The UTV could start up and perform improperly. It can misfire and occasionally split oil when you try to speed.

An owner complains that,

“My 2012 Ranger 800 XP has running issues. It used to run, although not properly, when I first acquired it, which I inherited from my grandfather. I found out that it might be my TPS. I ordered a used one from an online store, which momentarily fixed the problem. I drove it for a while and observed that when I pushed the throttle hard, it started to stutter, spit oil, and act as if it wanted to shut off. But if I pumped the throttle, it would keep moving, albeit erratically. Also, when I stomp on it forcefully, it doesn’t accelerate.”

Your Ranger will either continue to spew quickly or die if inactive, which can make this a frustrating struggle. It would be best to examine the fuel pump, the oil tank, and the TPS sensor to determine the cause. Try replacing these pieces one at a time if you have additional parts. Get a skilled mechanic to remedy the issue if it continues.

See the next video to learn how to solve this problem by installing a new fuel pump.

5. Hard Shift

Defects in the drive clutch, misaligned gears, and faults with the shift cables or drive belt can all cause shifting problems. For instance, a client reports,

“I have a 2011 Ranger 800XP. The shifting mechanism has suddenly become challenging to use. The shifter and cable are both smooth, according to my inspection of the shift cable at the transmission. I took the clutch cover off and saw that the belt was quite closely positioned to the primary clutch even at idle rpm.”

When the primary opens up and releases the sides of the belt, the EBS must be stressed to operate. Shifting becomes challenging at idle because the secondary cannot rotate. After all, the clutch shaft spins inside the bearing while the outside stays still. The secondary will spin if the bearing gets stuck in any way. In contrast, the belt will operate similarly if it touches one of the primary sheaves.

If you can’t figure out what’s causing the problem, you can have it checked by a trained technician or take it to a dealer.